Farmer Leaders Build a Better Future for Ag Through Training

August 13, 2020

Farmer Leaders Build a Better Future for Ag Through Training

Aug 13, 2020

Author: Cathryn Wojcicki

Twelve growers from seven states took part in the first session of this year’s National Corn Growers Association Leadership Academy program in St. Louis last week. This program, open to candidates from farmer members submitted through their state association, prepares participants to lead their state grower associations and check-off boards. 


This year’s class grew their skills in a variety of areas, including transformational leadership, consensus building, meeting facilitation, parliamentary procedure, and building trust with consumers through traditional and social media. Additionally, these up-and-coming leaders took part in exercises that helped them refine their ability to forecast and anticipate future challenges. With additional briefings from the Soil Health Partnership team and an election preview provided by Washington staff, the attendees prepared to successfully serve their fellow farmers in a leadership capacity.


“NCGA’s tradition of grassroots-focused leadership directly leads to the successes which benefit all U.S. corn farmers. Meeting the talented, dedicated Leadership Academy class, I feel optimistic for the future of American agriculture,” said President Kevin Ross, a farmer from Minden, Iowa. “It takes time away from the farm and personal sacrifice to actively become a part of the change you want to see. The women and men I met, even in these unique times, show the importance of working together to forward our industry through their work.”


The second session of Leadership Academy will take place in Washington in March of 2021. The class will then have the chance to meet NCGA lobbying staff in-person, learn how to effectively advance priorities with federal legislators and regulators, dive into current policy issues, and actively advocate for the issues important to corn farmers on the Hill.


Corn association leaders in attendance included: Greg Amundson (N.D.); Ben Bakko (N.D.); Michael Dibbern (Neb.); Chad Epler (Kan.); Kyla Hamilton (Texas); Emily Koop (Kan.); Lance Lillibridge (Iowa); Kelly Nieuwenhuis (Iowa); Kayla Poe (Miss.); Matthew Poe (Miss.); Jon Rosensteil (Ill.); and Terry Smith (Ill.).